The Apple Distinguished School designation is recognition for schools that meet exacting criteria for innovation, leadership, and educational excellence, in addition to demonstrating a clear vision for improving student outcomes via modern learning environments. Apple Distinguished Schools demonstrate the use of Apple hardware, apps, and content to promote creativity, collaboration, innovation, and critical thinking to transform learning and teaching.

Achieving Apple Distinguished School status was a goal that St Lawrence was driven to achieve, and through partnership with CT, they achieved this in 2018. To be recognised demonstrates the school’s vision for learning with technology which was achieved in part through the Digital Transformation program which they initiated with CT.

What has St Lawrence PS Derrimut achieved?

St Lawrence Derrimut has fully implemented an iPad 1:1 programme for their grade 3-6 students which is well established and used across all subject areas. The school supports iPad and Mac, with grade 1-2 students using shared devices, and grade 3-6 students using school provided iPads for the duration of those years.

With specially trained Apple Certified Teachers, along with high quality facilities, high performance WiFi infrastructure, advanced caching services and the latest technology in classrooms, all configured and supported by CT. St Lawrence Derrimut are now able to provide a unique and dynamic learning experience for all their students.

With a 1:1 iPad program which was fulfilled by CT, St Lawrence Derrimut has:

  • Provided every student from grades 3 to 6 with access to an iPad to enable digital learning, wherever they are, even at home
  • Leveraged intuitive apps to foster greater focus on content quality and design
  • Empowers students to show greater levels of innovation and creativity
  • Increases student engagement and motivation – Learning is now perceived as more engaging and independent with iPad
  • Enjoys cost savings thanks to minimal technical support required, as well as complete technical stability
  • Noted improvements in academic performance
  • Worked with an Apple Distinguished Educator to plan and implement Challenge Based Learning using iTunes U courses

Why did St Lawrence choose iPad for their 1:1 device program?

There was already a large Apple user-base in the school. Staff and students were comfortable with the intuitive user experience. The need for day to day technical support was minimised, allowing for cost savings and freeing up teachers to be, teachers. Cost, apps, reliability and long battery life also made iPad the right choice. The mobility of the iPad (ability to use both in the classroom and outside the classroom), as well as the variety of uses were also big factors. The iPad also fits with the school’s philosophy of being learner centred as we are able to adjust the learning to support different students using the tools contained on the iPad or the iPad Apps.

How has this impacted learning?

  • Active learning and engagement
    iPad creates exciting opportunities for active learning tasks
  • Accelerated learning
    iPad provides seamless access to resources and accelerates the pace of learning
  • Collaboration
    A simple and reliable platform for effective collaboration on project work is provided
  • Greater choice and independence
    Students can choose how they record, develop and communicate their ideas
  • Individualised learning pathways
    Learning can be tailored to individual students in a way that’s practical
  • Effective assessment and feedback
    Frequent low-stakes assessment is seamless and engaging. Feedback is timely and data provides valuable insights into progress.

Adopting mobile technology in the classroom has allowed teachers to create a dynamic learning environment focused on active learning and deeper engagement.

iPad has given students instant access to a world of information which teachers utilise to deliver dynamic and engaging lessons. Students develop into autonomous researchers and independent thinkers.
Teachers are able to bring a topic to life in ways that was previously unimaginable. They guide and coach their students with well-designed tasks and can respond to the differing needs of individual students within the lesson.

iPad provides teachers with the platform they need to tailor learning to meet individual needs more effectively. The technology has inspired creativity and students have greater choice over how they record, develop and communicate their ideas.

How has CT and Apple helped the school on their journey?

CT is proud to be an Apple Solution Expert for Education, with many years of experience deploying and managing large fleets of Apple products in a range of educational institutions across Australia. CT has been specifically selected by Apple for our proven expertise and ongoing excellence in providing technology solutions to education institutions and our work with transforming infrastructure and making teaching and learning fun and exciting with Apple.

What are the requirements to become an Apple Distinguished School?

Apple Distinguished schools are amongst the most innovative in the world. They need to demonstrate continuous innovation and cultivate environments in which students are excited and curious about learning – empowered through iPad and Mac which inspire student creativity, collaboration, and critical thinking. Requirements include:

  • Established 1:1 programme
  • Innovative use of the Apple platform
  • Staff proficiency with iPad or Mac
  • Documented, demonstrable results

Find out more about the Apple Distinguished School Program.

CT has many happy and productive schools using the iPad 1:1 program. The key to ongoing success is a strong network infrastructure that allows fast and reliable connectivity to devices, we achieve this via strong caching services and also close monitoring of the school network from our Network Operations Centre at CT HQ. CT can perform a full analysis of your environment to ensure success is assured and any changes required are done right, the first time”

An invested, forward-thinking teaching staff is also key to success. Teachers are provided extensive training on how to get the most out of iPad via Apple Professional Educators and certification programs that enable the transfer of learning a fun and enjoyable experience. Once your team sees the strength of the 1:1 program in action, teachers begin asking how soon they will have the technology in their class.

Bailey Collins
Apple Technical Lead, Centorrino Technologies